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Cook County and City of Chicago Launch "If You See Something, Say Something" Campaign

News Date: 
Friday, Jul 10, 2015 - 02:00

The City of Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) and the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) have teamed up with the U.S Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to launch the “If You See Something, Say Something™” campaign to alert local residents to the critical role they play in helping to keep the community safe.

If You See Something, Say Something™ is a national anti-terrorism public awareness campaign that emphasizes the importance of reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities. Residents are urged to call 855-RPRT-2S4 – the official toll-free number of the local campaign – to report any non-emergency suspicious activity to local authorities. Representatives from both the OEMC and the DHSEM stressed that security is the responsibility of the whole community.

“Public awareness and participation in our homeland security efforts are essential to keeping our local communities safe,” said Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. “Whether you are in downtown Chicago at Navy Pier or jogging down the city’s new 606 Park, we all play a role in protecting our neighborhoods and communities. I applaud Cook County Board President Preckwinkle and Chicago Mayor Emanuel for joining the If You See Something, Say Something™ public awareness campaign.”

OEMC and the DHSEM have partnered with local transit agencies, colleges and the faith-based community to help promote the If You See Something, Say Something™ program to residents on public transportation, in schools, at events and at other public and private spaces around the community. Additionally, the City and County will launch a radio campaign to reinforce the new reporting number to Chicago and Cook County residents so they know to begin using it instead of 9-1-1 to report non-emergency suspicious activity.

“We can all participate in keeping our community safe, so we encourage residents to be aware when in public and report anything that is unusual,” said Michael Masters, executive director of the DHSEM. “Residents know their surroundings better than anyone else, so if they see something out of the ordinary, they should pick up the phone and report it.”

“Our residents are vital partners in ensuring the safety of our communities,” said Gary Schenkel, executive director of OEMC. “We want them to know they are empowered if they see something and have a responsibility to say something by reporting questionable activity or suspicious packages to law enforcement.”

OEMC and the DHSEM will continue to expand the campaign in Chicago and throughout Cook County by partnering with additional agencies and organizations. Any agency interested in joining the If You See Something, Say Something™ campaign should contact the DHSEM and OEMC for more information.

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The Office of Emergency Management and Communications was established in 1995 to coordinate the City’s delivery of Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services resources. OEMC operates Chicago’s public safety communications system, manages emergency situations and coordinates major events, 3-1-1 and 9-1-1 Communications Operations. For more information visit cityofchicago.org/oemc or www.facebook/coemc.

The Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management integrates first responders, their departments and resources from 134 Cook County municipalities, and serves as the central agency in Cook County for coordinating efforts to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from all incidents, whether man-made or natural. For more information, visit our website at www.cookcountyhomelandsecurity.org.